Dr. Rana on the Rationale for Video Genetic Counseling in Prostate Cancer

July 29, 2020

Huma Q. Rana, MD, MPH, discusses the rationale for the ProGen trial, which compared the effectiveness of video education versus in-person genetic counseling for men with prostate cancer.

Huma Q. Rana, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and clinical director of Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the rationale for the ProGen trial, which compared the effectiveness of video education versus in-person genetic counseling for men with prostate cancer.

There are increasing indications for germline genetic testing in prostate cancer, says Rana. Through several clinical studies, the field has recognized that there is a high prevalence of inherited mutations among men with advanced prostate cancers, and this could have significant implications on treatment. Men with advanced prostate cancer, particularly those with underlying mutations in genes such as BRCA2, are known to have poor outcomes, says Rana. Therefore, it is important to identify these men and make matched targeted therapy available to them and their oncologists.

In recognizing that prostate cancer is a very common disease and that traditional germline genetic testing would be very difficult to implement—potentially overwhelming already strained systems for genetic testing—a randomized controlled trial was conducted. In the trial, investigators compared the effectiveness of a short video that focused on the educational components of a genetic counseling visit with in-person genetic counseling for men with potentially lethal prostate cancers, concludes Rana.


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